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Christmas Potluck Ideas for Italian Appetizers
Focaccia is the perfect stage for Italian delicacies and traditional appetizers. It is an Italian flat bread that can be baked or cooked on a grill or griddle. As with any bread, fresh is best. Making focaccia with pizza dough is fast and easy. You can make your own dough or buy store bought pizza dough balls. Don't buy the rolled pizza dough.
Basic Pizza Dough (makes 2 large pizzas, 8 foccacias or dozens of i coccoli.)
1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 5/6 cups warm water
5 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt.
Combine the wet ingredients, yeast and salt in a stand mixer turned on slow. Slowly add the flour until it is mixed well. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is soft and elastic.
Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough ball around in the oil to coat all sides. Cover with a cloth and let it rise until it has doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into portions for pizza crusts, focaccia or i coccoli.
To make foccacia, divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Put it on a lightly floured work surface. Use your fingertips to start flattening out the dough, then roll it into an eight to nine-inch circle.
Cook the focaccia on a hot grill or griddle until browned on one side. Turn it over and cook until the second side is browned. Remove from the heat.
Garlic bread is a must have with just about every Italian dish. As soon as the focaccia comes off the heat, rub it with a halved garlic clove, then brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle it with just a bit of Parmigiana.
Your fresh, delicious garlic bread is ready to eat, or dress up with more Italian flavors. These appetizer recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.
Combine 1 cup diced, Roma tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 or 2 cloves minced or pressed garlic, 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh pepper to taste, Serve on top of warm focaccia garlic bread.
Focaccia with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
Serve up all the colors of Christmas with this warm and cheesy Italian appetizer. Arrange fresh, sliced tomatoes and sliced, fresh Mozzarella on top of a focaccia. Drizzle with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bake the foccacia in a 450 degree oven until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh cut basil. Cut into quarters to serve as appetizers.
Focaccia with Marinara
Think bread sticks with a marinara for dipping and this is what you have. You can spend hours making a homemade tomato sauce, or you can open a jar and heat it up. Serve with fresh, warm focaccia cut into strips and ready for dipping. Arrange the bread slices around the edge of a serving platter with a bowl of warm marinara in the center.
- The Top Five Uses For Pizza Dough
Italian pizza dough, whether it is homemade or store bought, is used in a wide variety of recipes.
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